Friday, July 22, 2011

Warm-blooded sauropods

I was just reading yesterday a creationist paper skeptical of warm-blooded dinosaurs, and today, there's a new paper from Science providing yet more evidence that dinosaurs could regulate their body temperatures. From the abstract of Eagle et al.'s Dinosaur Body Temperatures Determined from Isotopic (13C-18O) Ordering in Fossil Biominerals:
We used clumped isotope thermometry to determine body temperatures from the fossilized teeth of large Jurassic sauropods. Our data indicate body temperatures of 36° to 38°C, which are similar to those of most modern mammals. This temperature range is 4° to 7°C lower than predicted by a model that showed scaling of dinosaur body temperature with mass, which could indicate that sauropods had mechanisms to prevent excessively high body temperatures being reached because of their gigantic size.
Now I'm off to South Dakota for a short vacation before the Origins 2011 conference. There's still time to register if you are interested in coming.

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